United Auto Workers Union Sues GM to Stop Three Plant Closures

GM announced it would keep Detroit-Hamtramck open through January 2020

United Auto Workers Union Sues GM to Stop Three Plant Closures
Aerial view of GM’s Lordstown, Ohio assembly plant. [Photo: General Motors]

The union contends its contract forbids GM to idle the plants.

On Tuesday, The United Auto Workers union filed suit against General Motors, contending the company is forbidden from idling its plants under its current contract. Last November, GM announced its plans to end production at five North American plants by the end of this year. Under this lawsuit, the UAW aims to prevent GM from closing three plants in Ohio, Maryland and Michigan until the current contract ends in September.

GM announced last week that it would continue production as its Detroit-Hamtramck plant through January 2020.

One of the plants up for closure is the Lordstown, Ohio assembly, which currently builds the Chevy Cruze. [Photo: Chevrolet]

The Associated Press reports that the lawsuit includes a September 2015 letter from Catherine Clegg about the current contract. The UAW contends that letter “confirms” that GM won’t close, idle, sell off, or consolidate plans under the current union contract. However, GM said in a Tuesday statement that its decision to close the plants last year doesn’t violate the UAW agreement. “We continue to work with the UAW on solutions to our business challenges,” GM said in a statement.

Lordstown, Ohio, which produces the Chevy Cruze, has approximately 1,435 hourly workers affected by the closure. Its workers hope the union can negotiate for GM to keep the plant open past its current June closure date. The plant has been operating since 1966, producing more than 16.3 million vehicles.

Lordstown Assembly Plant. [Photo: General Motors]

Also up in this lawsuit are two more of the company’s plants in Warren, Michigan and White Marsh, Maryland. The Warren plant employs about 265 people to build transmissions, while the Maryland plant employs 250 manufacturing electric motors and drivetrains.

Stay tuned to TFLcar.com for more updates on the ongoing negotiations between GM and the UAW.